KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A five-run seventh inning from Georgia proved to be the difference, as No. 1/1 Tennessee fell in the series finale Saturday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, 8-3.
Drew Gilbert recorded his 15th multi-hit game of the season and Luc Lipcius homered for the second consecutive day, and 13th time this season, but the Vols (45-7, 22-5 SEC) managed to get just five total hits.
On the mound, Ben Joyce got his first career start—striking out six batters in 4.0 innings of work and threw all 44 of his fastballs over 100 mph, clocking 20 over 103 mph, according to Yakkertech tracking. Kirby Connell took over for Joyce, retiring all six batters he faced striking out a career-high-tying five in two innings of work in the fifth and sixth.
For the first six innings of the game Saturday, Georgia recorded just three runs on three total hits—all of which came in the fourth inning.
With the game tied 3-3 entering the top of the seventh inning, the Bulldogs quickly loaded the bases with three straight singles.
An RBI groundout by Ben Anderson brought home one run and was immediately followed by a two-out RBI single by Cole Tate that scored two more. The next batter, Connor Tate, hit a two-run home run to left field to cap off Georgia’s five-run inning and give the Bulldogs an 8-3 lead.
Following its offensive explosion in the seventh, Georgia (33-18, 14-13) retired Tennessee’s final nine batters to close out the game.
Despite its finish, the Vols got off to a hot start on the offensive end on Saturday, plating one run in the first and second innings.
Gilbert drove in Seth Stephenson in the bottom of the first with a single up the middle, while Lipcius’ solo homer to left field highlighted the second inning and gave Tennessee a 2-0 lead.
Georgia’s other offensive production came in a three-run fourth inning in which Chaney Rogers and Fernando Gonzalez hit back-to-back home runs to put the Bulldogs in front 3-2. The Vols evened the score in the bottom of the inning when Cortland Lawson drew a bases loaded walk.
UP NEXT: Tennessee is back at Lindsey Nelson Stadium for one final time in the regular season on Tuesday, taking on Belmont at 6 p.m. Tickets are sold out, but standing room only tickets will be on sale starting 90 minutes before first pitch. The game will air on SEC Network+.